Young wins stage four as Dion Smith takes second

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Stage 4 - Eric Young photo Jonathan Devich 150August 7th, ’15.  Eric Young unleashed a powerful sprint to take stage four of the Tour of Utah, ahead of Dion Smith and former race leader Jure Kocjan. The result meant that Kocjan reclaimed the race lead from Kiel Reijnen as Dion Smith moved into 6th place overall.

Stage 4 - Eric Young photo Jonathan Devich 320Eric Young takes victory in stage 5 ahead of Dion Smith (left), photo Jonathan Devich – epicimages.com August 7th, ’15.  Eric Young unleashed a powerful sprint to take stage four of the Tour of Utah, ahead of Dion Smith and former race leader Jure Kocjan. The result meant that Kocjan reclaimed the race lead from Kiel Reijnen as Dion Smith moved into 6th place overall.

A break of seven riders went early in stage 4 of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, that took the field 205.2km from Soldier Hollow to Heber Valley.  The move contained Robin Carpenter (Hincapie) Nicolae Tanovitchii (Jellybelly), Tim Roe (Drapac), Dan Eaton (Axeon), Ben King (Cannondale-Garmin), Luis Lemus (Airgas), and Songezo Jim (MTN-Qhubeka). Carpenter was the danger man in the move, starting the day only eight seconds off the race lead, and United Healthcare could clearly not allow the break too much leeway or they would lose the race lead, and subsequently the break never gained more than four minutes over the field.

With a tough climb in the middle of the stage, it was never going to be easy for the break to remain clear, and under pressure from Team Colombia the break was almost brought back on the climb, coming within 30 seconds of the break. Jim buckled under the pressure and slipped back to the bunch, but Eaton’s teammate Gregory Daniel jumped across, propping up the firepower in the break and allowing them to stretch out their lead to close on two minutes again.

Meanwhile Carpenter made the most of the intermediate sprints on the course to drag himself closer to the race lead, needing only to hold off the bunch in the run in to the finish in order to take over the leader’s jersey.

However, UHC were having none of it, and the gap, once stable at around two minutes, started coming down as the peloton closed in on the final climb of the day, a category four ascent, with the group holding a mere one minute advantage with some 15 kilometres to go.

In the lead, Carpenter was working hard to keep the break clear, as all he had to do to take the race lead was stay clear of the chasing peloton, and with some ten kilometres to go the break was still working together well.  Behind, UHC was massed on the front of the peloton, pulling as hard as they could to bring the break back.  However, the teams of the other sprinters did not seem too interested in the chase at that point, but in spite of just one team working on the front, the gap was coming down, with 45 seconds under the ten kilometre to go mark. 

With seven and a half kilometres to go, the gap was down to 30 seconds, and with five kilometres to go, it was only 15 seconds, and the writing was on the wall for the break. With just under four kilometres to go the catch was made and the other teams started moving to the front, with BMC taking control of the front of the peloton with an eye to a stage win for Brent Bookwalter.  However, as the remaining BMC riders took the final corner with some 500 metres of uphill sprint to go, Eric Young (Optum) went early, coming over the BMC train with a number of riders on his wheel, including Kiwi Dion Smith (Hincapie). 

Smith accelerated past a number of riders, but could not catch Young, who managed to hang on for the win. Jure Kocjan (Smartstop) took third, with the time bonus moving him into the race lead, with Carpenter’s heroics on the day pitting him in second, two seconds down, followed by Bookwalter in third, another two seconds back. Smith moved up to sixth in the same time as Bookwalter, with former leader Reijnen slipping back to eighth.  James Oram (Axeon) the second best Kiwi, sitting in 25th place, 14 seconds off the race lead, and Michael Torckler (Budget Forklifts) in 105th as he works for his teammates.

Stage results (more results):

Rank Name Nat. Team Result
1 Eric YOUNG USA OPM 4:47:57
2 Dion SMITH NZL HSD +0
3 Jure KOCJAN SLO SSC +0
4 John MURPHY USA UHC +0
5 Brent BOOKWALTER USA BMC +0
6 Sonny COLBRELLI ITA BAR +0
7 Travis MCCABE USA SSC +0
8 Ruben GUERREIRO POR BDT +0
9 Robbie SQUIRE USA HSD +0
10 Jordan KERBY AUS DPC +0

By:  Ed Wright

 

 

 

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